Types of Disaster Recovery Sites: Cold, Warm, and Hot Sites
One of the key elements in any DR plan is the selection of a secondary site for data storage. DR software will extract data from this secondary site and restore it back to primary servers in the event of a major system failure. There are three major types of disaster recovery sites that can be used: cold sites, warm sites, and hot sites. Understanding the differences among these three can help SMBs, working in cooperation with an expert IT consultant, to select the one that best suits company needs.
A cold disaster recovery site is the most simplistic type of disaster recovery site. A cold site consists of elements to provide power and networking capability as well as cooling. It does not include other hardware elements such as servers and storage. The use of a cold site is very limiting to an business since before it can be used, backup data along with some additional hardware must be sent to the site and installed. This will impede workflow.
Warm sites contain all the elements of a cold site, adding to them additional elements including storage hardware such as tape or disk drives along with both servers and switches. Warm sites are "ready to go" in one sense, but they still need to have data transported to them for use in recovery should a disaster occur.
A hot site is a fully functional backup site that already has important data mirrored to it. This is the ideal disaster recovery site, but can be challenging attain.
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